One month into 2016 and this is the time when New Year's Resolutions might be wobbling. How can we motivate ourselves to make a change? And then to keep making it? It's easy to make resolutions based on an abstract idea of something we'd like to do or be, but harder to remember this in the day to day reality of making a change.
We underestimate the impact that the time of year has on our mental health, and in a typically British way think that we should be able to power through no matter what. So if you're feeling pretty low at this time of year here are some things we can say to ourselves to combat that mental slump and improve our mood and motivation.
During my career as a psychologist in clinical practice, if there's one word I have heard more than any other from the thousands of patients I have consulted with it's 'sex',. However, in 2015 the frequency and depth of sex in my patients' lives appeared to increase in its importance, seemingly due to the ever increasingly sexualised and consumerist society we live in.
It's a little like being asked what it's like having a pair of lungs. I don't know - Good? Useful? Essential? Being a twin makes up my DNA: my twin-ness sits snugly inside each and every cell that makes up my body. It's why we have the same colour eyes; the same colour hair and tiny wrists. It's why I am me and she is, well, she.
For at the end of the year there is a tendency for low self-esteemers like I used to be to look back with grey tinted glasses. 'I didn't go on that diet', 'I didn't get promoted', 'I didn't meet the one'. Social networks compound this by focussing on the glossy sides of life, making the gloomy crew feel even more useless, rubbish.
This time of year is popular for social engagements such as office parties, fun get-togethers with friends and festive family gatherings. But for many sufferers of social anxiety, this can be the most traumatic time of the year. While many people look forward to a good knees-up, those with social anxieties may experience feelings of dread as the party season approaches.
Few of us find taxes exciting, but death - even just thinking about it - affects us profoundly in many different ways. This is why researchers across so many different fields study it from their perspectives. Here are five research findings - biochemical, medical, genetic, sociological and psychological - that you may not be aware of.
One of the most useful skills I learnt during over a decade in prison was to be thankful that things weren't even worse. In psychology this is known as comparing down and helps make you grateful for what you have. Comparing down was a skill that I learnt in New Zealand's toughest maximum-security prison, Paremero.
Every parent wants their child to grow up to be a happy and confident adult so it's a sobering thought that half a million children in the UK are dealing with anxiety or depression. These issues can often develop as a result of low self-esteem, and the impact of social media on youngsters' self-confidence is being widely debated as a result.